Every winter, usually right after the New Year, our little Island goes into hibernation. The last of the holiday crowds dissipate, the ocean turns to that deep navy winter blue, and most of our beloved local businesses close down for a little off-season break. While this time of year serves as a sort of rejuvenation for both our population and environment, right around mid-February the feeling of isolation has really set in. Luckily, it’s also right around this time that the promise of life on Martha’s Vineyard slowly starts to return. Like the first flower of spring that pokes it’s brave head through the frozen earth, Rosewater Market has officially wiped the frost from its windows and opened for the 2019 season. The Times paid a visit as soon as we could.
I was greeted by a friendly cashier wearing a shirt that read “Food rules.” Because of that, I completely trusted her, and based on her suggestions, ordered a variety of food options to bring back to the office and brighten up lunch break at The MV Times. I usually go for lighter fare during lunch, so I decided to dig into the Spicy Peanut Tofu Wrap ($10) first. The refreshing crunch of the carrots, peppers, and cucumbers created a delicious union with the tender tofu and savory spice of the peanut sauce. It is hard to find tofu with such an appetizing consistency, but the Rosewater kitchen definitely has it down. I’m lucky enough to have coworkers that were willing to share, so next I migrated over to The MV Times ad sales department and had a few (too many) bites of the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich with buffalo sauce ($13). My favorite part of this sandwich was the aioli, which had a fresh herb and creamy cool flavor, sort of resembling a tzatziki sauce. It was the perfect way to balance the sandwich’s spice, which was deliciously soaked up by the thick ciabatta bread it’s served on. Next, I followed my nose over to the classifieds department and talked my way into a few bites of some Veggie Chili ($6). This was probably my favorite component of the entire dining experience. The flavor of the chili still achieved that warmth you feel in the bottom of your soul, which until now I carnivorously thought only came from meat. The tender vegetables in the chili, paired with the crisp red onion and cheese topping, had me bartering with my coworker for just one more bite.
I will definitely be returning to Rosewater soon, not only for more of the veggie chili but to explore all that the deli case has to offer. With a variety of fresh salads, to-go dinner options and desserts, it took a lot of self-control for me to not spend a week’s paycheck during my first visit of the year. If you are a local, you know how big of a deal this is, because eating in Edgartown, especially in the summer, usually means you can plan to pay for your food, your tip, and your parking ticket.
With the reopening of this wonderful little market, I was reassured that spring really is just around the corner. I advise you to get your fix now, because before you know it, all of our favorite hidden gems will be found and taken over by the seasonal crowds. I am thankful for businesses like this that break through our dreary cold months to remind everyone that life does really exist year-round on Martha’s Vineyard.
Rosewater Market and Takeaway, 20 South Summer St., Edgartown. Open 7 to 5 pm, closed Sundays. 508-627-1270. rosewatermv.com.